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Ken Ward's Writing Pages
Writing: Grammar: Parts of Speech

Main Page: Parts of Speech
Page Contents

  1. Parts of Speech

Parts of Speech

If you ask someone what part of speech a given word is, they cannot answer without knowing some context for the word. A word, such as running – that is the word found in the dictionary and spelt r-u-n-n-i-n-g – can have many functions in a sentence. For instance:
The running man was late for work. (adjective)
Running is good for the body. (noun)
I was running for the bus when I saw her. (present participle)
Even dyed in the wool conjunctions such as and can function in a sentence as a different part of speech. In the sentence below, it functions as a noun:
The word, and, is a conjunction. 

In addition, different authorities might differ on the part of speech of a word in a sentence. For instance:
My cat is meowing.
Here, the word, my, could be:
Fortunately, it is all of these. And naming the part of speech does not matter. At least, it doesn't matter as much as our being able to figure out the functions of a word in a sentence, and understand how it works in that sentence. However, in modern grammar we might not call my an adjective, although it is an adjective in traditional grammar (and it still modifies the word cat). 

Ken Ward's Writing Pages

The Last Place in Space
- by Ken Ward

When pilot Philip Turner is accidentally transported by an anomaly and marooned on an unknown planet, he discovers the planet is threatened by a group of ruthless aliens similarly marooned. With the help of a group of young women with superpowers, and a powerful being called a god, he reluctantly uses his advanced knowledge and technology to help the planet's inhabitants, but will he succeed when outnumbered by aliens, opposed by greedy and squabbling kings, and limited by his gentle nature and moral beliefs? Paperback and Kindle:
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The Last Place in Space